Snow White Writing is a writing segment where I write about my writing journey and share some of my works as well.
I’ve been bitten by the writing bug and because of it, I’ve been spending many days writingwritingwriting five different stories at the same time (I know, it’s a bad idea but I simply must have all the new chapters written down before I lose motivation!) and I’ve yet to finish reading a book. However, since I don’t want to ‘vanish’ from SWHA while I write other things, I hope you won’t mind me posting the second chapter of Howl the Wolf Princess today 😅
NOTE: This work belongs to me. Please do not steal, copy, etc. Sharing (please inform me when you do so) is fine as long as you link back to this WordPress and include my name. Also, constructive criticism is always welcomed!
THE LAST MEMORY Howl had of her father was when he brought her to the local market for the first time. She remembered being fascinated by the noises, the smells and the people. She remembered looking too long at the stand that sold skewered meat, her father’s resulting impatience and being dragged away. He had told her that he was getting money that day, had said that he’d be able to buy the things they didn’t have by getting rid of the things they didn’t want. She thought it was odd that he was only carrying their old rattan mat, but she kept quiet. Nothing good came from making him angry and she had learnt that lesson numerous times before. Besides, it hadn’t taken long before her father stopped beside an old man selling children toys. She watched him play with the bubble blower, trying to attract the attention of potential customers while her father set up the mat.
“Stand here,” her father muttered as he pulled her back. It hurt but she kept silent. The two of them stood on the mat, her father calling out to passers-by every few moments while she redirected her attention to the old man. Another handful of minutes crawled by before Howl spotted her grandmama heading towards them.
“Grandmama!” she called out, raising her hands as high as they could go but the most her grandmama did was only gave her a quick smile before turning to her father. They exchanged a few words in the dialect Howl had yet to learn, but even she could tell that something was wrong. Her grandmama’s face was stricken with horror but her father only smiled. She didn’t even get the chance to tell her grandmama goodbye before the elderly lady rushed off.
“What’s wrong with grandmama, papa?” she peered up at her father, frightened for a few moments that he would strike her for speaking out of turn.
“Nothing’s wrong. Let’s wait and see if she comes back, alright?” His smile was still there and Howl was scared. Smiles weren’t something her father gave out freely.
They waited at their spot while the sun slowly made its way to the centre of the sky. Howl’s legs were tired but she stayed upright. One of the first things she learnt growing up, was that if her father was nearby and he wasn’t seated, she needed have to wait until he was. Her mother had said that it was a form of respect—that if the man of the house wasn’t tired then the others cannot be tired as well. Howl also kept her gaze fixed in front of her, not daring to let it wander back to the old man and his bubble blower. There was this unexplainable urge, telling her to not look away until her grandmama was back.
“It’s almost an hour,” her father suddenly spoke up, startling her. “Your grandmother will be back soon.”
And sure enough, Howl’s grandmama could be seen heading towards them. Her white-grey hair had fallen out of its neat bun and her dark brown eyes had a wild panic in them. Once she was within arm’s reach, she thrust a floral coin bag at Howl’s father and pulled Howl towards her, spitting out harsh words the little girl didn’t understand. In reply, he laughed and waved them away. Howl followed her grandmama as the elderly lady led them away, but she kept her head turned, watching her father roll up the rattan mat before the moving crowd blocked her view.
It was only days later when Howl realized that her father had tried to sell her, and that she wouldn’t be seeing her parents or siblings anymore.